The Queen of My Dreams – TIFF Canada’s Top Ten 2023

The Queen of My Dreams Canada's Top Ten 2023 Review

The Queen of My Dreams – TIFF Canada’s Top Ten 2023

Release Date: March 22, 2024
Runtime: 01:37
Against the backdrop of a shared obsession with Bollywood fantasy, Mariam, a Pakistani Muslim woman, and her Canadian-born daughter Azra come of age in two different eras.

After the sudden death of her father, the Canadian daughter of a Pakistani immigrant learns that she is not all that different from her mother in . Azra () used to idolize her mother Mariam (), with the two sharing a love of the 1969 Bollywood film Aradhana. However, the relationship between the two has soured ever since Mariam adopted a more devout Muslim life and frowns upon Azra's status as a queer aspiring actress. When her father Hassan () suddenly dies of a heart attack while he and Mariam are visiting family in Pakistan, Azra finds herself flying to the country to attend the funeral, only to be disgusted when all the traditions are bestowed onto her brother Zahid (Ali A. Kazmi). Flashbacks to 1969 show the young Mariam (Kaur) as a more liberal and idealistic woman, who courts Hassan and moves to Canada against the wishes of her own mother.

The Queen of My Dreams Synopsis

The Queen of My Dreams is a multi-generational coming-of-age dramedy written and directed by Fawzia Mirza. Starting in 1999 Toronto, the film stars Amit Kaur (The Sex Lives of College Girls) as both the protagonist Azra and the younger version of her mother Mariam, played as an older woman by Nimra Bucha (Ms. Marvel), with this duality being a reference to similar casting in the film Aradhana, which is heavily referenced throughout The Queen of My Dreams, including the titular song. In the present, Azra and Mariam have grown far apart, but flashbacks to 1969 Karachi and later 1989 Nova Scotia show that the latter was once just as idealistic as her daughter is now.

My Thoughts on The Queen of My Dreams

Many people fear that they will someday grow up and discover that they have become their parents. The Queen of My Dreams literalizes this through the duo role played by star Amit Kaur. A question that comes up throughout the film is how a young and idealistic woman like Mariam would grow to adopt a more conservative Muslim faith and end up treating her daughter Azra the same way Mariam herself was treated by her mother. As the film and its flashback-heavy narrative play out, the character arc of Mariam makes sense, as it is learned that she and Azra are more similar than it appears.

Trailer for The Queen of My Dreams – TIFF Canada's Top Ten 2023

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.